Criminals are already using ChatGPT, and it will only get worse, according to the police

The European Union’s law enforcement agency has issued a strong warning about criminals’ rising use of AI technologies such as ChatGPT, alleging that the AI language models may fuel fraud, cybercrime, and misinformation.

In an update, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol, expressed alarm about criminals’ possible use of the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot ChatGPT and other similar systems.

According to the organization, criminals are already employing such technologies to do unlawful acts.

“Criminals are typically quick to exploit new technologies and were fast seen coming up with concrete criminal exploitations, providing the first practical examples mere weeks after the public release of ChatGPT.”

« The impact of these types of models on law enforcement work can already be anticipated, » Europol wrote in its study.

Top 3 Crimes for ChatGPT Misuse

According to Europol, the detrimental use of ChatGPT is more prevalent in three types of crimes.

First and foremost, ChatGPT’s capacity to generate very realistic text makes it a valuable tool for fraud and phishing. The tool’s capacity to mimic certain persons or groups makes it considerably more hazardous in criminal hands.

The EU enforcement agency also expressed worry that ChatGPT may be used to propagate disinformation since the technology is well-trained to create authentic-sounding material at speed and scale.

« In addition to generating human-like language, ChatGPT is capable of producing code in a number of different programming languages, » the agency stated, adding that criminals with little technical understanding might use ChatGPT to generate harmful code.

Criminals can get through OpenAI’s content filtering system

While ChatGPT is better than other AI-powered chatbots at refusing to comply with potentially harmful input requests, there are still loopholes that allow users to bypass the tool’s content filter system.

Some, for example, have managed to trick the chatbot into revealing instructions on how to make a pipe bomb or crack cocaine.

“If a potential criminal knows nothing about a particular crime area, ChatGPT can speed up the research process significantly by offering key information that can then be further explored in subsequent steps,” the agency warned.

“As such, ChatGPT can be used to learn about a vast number of potential crime areas with no prior knowledge, ranging from how to break into a home, to terrorism, cybercrime and child sexual abuse.”

Europol admitted that while all of the information offenders require to commit certain crimes may already be publicly available, AI-powered chatbots make it much easier to obtain all of the necessary facts and even give a step-by-step guidance.

According to the agency, when new models become available, law enforcement must « remain at the forefront of these developments in order to anticipate and prevent abuse. »

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